From dawn to dusk, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. is a gorgeous sight.
Built to resemble Greek architecture, 36 Doric columns encircle the temple surrounding the inner chamber housing a 19-foot seated statue of Lincoln.
Completed in 1922 to honor Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, the monument is comprised of marble blocks from Colorado, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.
There are 58 steps to climb from the terrace to the memorial chamber.
And 87 steps connect the terrace to the Reflecting Pool below, representing the "four score and seven years" line from the Gettysburg address.
The rear side faces west towards Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, across the Potomac River. Looking east from the front steps lies the Washington Monument and Capitol Hill.
Throughout time and trials, upheavals and struggle, this monument has stood as a symbol of unity, strength and wisdom. This inscription above Lincoln's statue glows at night:
IN THIS TEMPLE
AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION
THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
IS ENSHRINED FOREVER
The South Chamber holds the entire Gettysburg Address, which Lincoln delivered on November 19, 1863.
The inscription pays homage to the Lincoln's stoic determination to bring about the end of the American Civil War and reunite the democracy. Inscribed on the North Chamber is Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address delivered in 1865:
"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."
Each of the 36 columns represents a state at the time of Lincoln's death. The remaining 12 states lie outside the memorial wall and were added later. Construction on the memorial commenced in 1914 and was finished in 1922.
The Lincoln Memorial is open to the public 24 hours a day and the early mornings or late evenings are the most peaceful times to visit.
SOURCE: National Park Service